How does Psychotherapy work?
The term derives from the Greek words psyche, meaning mind, spirit, soul and therapeia - healing. Psychotherapy, essentially, is talking therapy. While friends and family may be sympathetic to your unhappiness, it may be difficult to discuss the source of your psychological discomfort with those close to you. Or, you may not know what the source is, but have a sense of psychological uneasiness. Your psychotherapist provides a safe space for you to explore your feelings and is trained to help you gain awareness into the way you think and behave and how this might be impacting on your emotional wellbeing.
Patterns of thinking, behaviour and relational styles established early in life through our interactions with significant people can become automatic and be repeated out of awareness. Gaining awareness into these patterns offers a choice and the possibility of change. The therapist can help you to explore what you want to change and assist you in finding your own path to resolving your difficulties.
Most research into therapeutic effectiveness emphasises that it is the quality of the relationship between the client and therapist which is the best predictor of a positive outcome. For this reason, it is important that you use the initial mutual assessment session to decide whether you feel you can work with me. Therapy is a collaborative process aimed at helping you find your own way to improve your sense of wellbeing.
People often ask whether there is a difference between counselling and psychotherapy. Many people believe they are the same and it is the case that both work on similar difficulties. However, psychotherapy aims to address the deeper processes that may be driving behaviour and can take longer as a result.
Examples of issues that psychotherapy can help with include: